Feline asthma is a debilitating condition for cats and caretakers alike. Just like asthma in humans, asthmatic airways in the lungs are prone to swelling, inflammation, and an excessive production of mucus, which results in labored breathing that can become life-threatening when left untreated. An estimate between 1% and 5% of all cats are afflicted with feline asthma.
Symptoms of feline asthma may include open-mouth or rapid breathing, wheezing and coughing. Cats suffering from asthma may also take on a crouched posture, similar to what they look like when trying to work up a hairball. Only the most severe cases are accompanied by discoloration of that cat’s lips and nose, which is a sign of oxygen deprivation and calls for immediate emergency care.
While no known cure exists for feline asthma, the condition can be managed through regular veterinary care and preventative measures. The most common treatment provided for feline asthma is the use of a corticosteroid through injection, oral tablets, or inhaler. However, long-term steroid treatments may put your cat at risk of developing side effects like Urinary Tract Infections and Cushings disease.